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French Open 2010 Preview Rafael Nadal And Mens Singles Contenders Analyzed

Here are the odds for the men’s singles title for the 2010 French Open and one of our tennis writers explains why they are the way they are.

The 2010 French Open is still more than a couple of weeks away as it does not begin until May 23rd. However betting lines are currently open and they promise to change as the opening day nears. Here are the odds to win outright for the top favorites heading into the 2010 French Open for the men’s singles draw as well as an explanation of why the odds are the way they are.

The favorite: Rafael Nadal (-225, 4/9; bet365)

Rafael Nadal has won the French Open 4 times (2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008) and he has only lost one individual match in the Slam (2009; 4th round l. to Soderling). While struggling for titles for almost a year Nadal has turned things around as he has won the last two events that he has contested, both of which were clay court events (Monte Carlo Masters; Rome Masters). Those victories have lead to Nadal’s price shortening in the last several weeks.

Nadal is considered unbeatable on clay when he is playing his very best and since he has demolished the competition in the last month on clay, his form has been called “scary” and he is easily the favorite to win the 2010 French Open. His odds are tough to tip as valuable because they are well on the wrong side of EVEN but you could pound him against the field as -225 promises to shorten after the tournament gets underway.

2nd favorite: Roger Federer (+500, 5/1; Paddy Power)

Roger Federer is considered the 2nd favorite in the futures market for the 2010 French Open for several reasons. Federer is the defending champion and he has the most single’s Grand Slam titles ever. He will be the top seed in Roland Garros and may have a fairly easy draw to the semifinals. All of those factors, besides his general popularity, are earning him bets and without doubt Federer does play his best tennis in Grand Slam tournaments.

Keep in mind that his form was not top notch in the months leading up to the 2010 Australian Open and Federer was still there to prevent Andy Murray from taking his first Slam down.

Federer’s price has been drifting for the last few weeks however as Federer has suffered upsets on tour. Notably Federer lost in Rome not long ago to Ernests Gulbis and that is shaking the confidence of his normal backers. Fed is currently -300 (1/3) to win ATP Estoril, a clay court event in Portugal, and hopefully he faces Gael Monfils in the final of that tournament so that Federer’s form can be better assessed on clay as he does not have many recent clay court matches under his belt.

3rd favorite: Novak Djokovic (+1000, 10/1; Paddy Power)

Novak Djokovic is the current world number 2 on tour although he could be judged to be cold, if only because he is the 2nd ranked player in the world and standards are therefore high.

Djokovic has one title on tour so far this year (Dubai) but that was a hard court event. In Miami and Indian Wells, Djokovic fell early in the draws and at the more recent clay court masters events, Djokovic did not make a final as Fernando Verdasco ousted him from both tournaments.

Historically at the French Open, Djokovic has had some success as he has made the semifinals twice (2007 and 2008). However last year Djokovic fell in the third round, in straight sets, to Philipp Kohlschreiber and it is difficult to back the world number 2 at this point without better clay court success or without better odds.

A good price on Djokovic might be more like +1400 (14/1) and therefore +1000 has to be judged as too short.

4th favorite: Juan Martin Del Potro (+1100, 11/1; Skybet)

Juan Martin Del Potro reportedly requires surgery to repair his injured wrist. He may be missing both the French Open and Wimbledon and we’re recommending treating this player as though he were not going to be playing until the end of the summer. Some sportsbooks still offer odds but Paddy Power and Stan James, among others, have pulled their prices with the news of possible surgery.

Suspiciously, Betfair have Del Potro at +23755 (about 237/1) and all that suggests is that bets on Del Potro to win the French Open are going to be lost bets as incredibly long odds are often offered on pending scratches.

Do not bet Del Potro to win the French Open unless your sportsbook provides refunds for no-shows. He definitely has the skills, attributes, and strength of mind to beat even Nadal on clay and it is very disappointing that he likely won’t be contesting the 2010 French Open as he was more likely to win in Roland Garros than either Federer or Djokovic.

A healthy Del Potro would be a second favorite.

5th favorite: Fernando Verdasco (+3300, 33/1; bet365)

Fernando Verdasco is having a fantastic season so far as he has picked up two titles in 2010, including a recent one on clay. Verdasco has defeated Djokovic twice this clay court season and he, Verdasco, took down the ATP Barcelona title by defeating Robin Soderling in the final.

Nadal whipped Verdasco in the Monte Carlo Masters final but the price of +3300 with bet365 to win the French Open on Nando is unmistakenably valuable. His odds are as short as +1700 (17/1) with Paddy Power so we recommend sprinkling the price with bet365 without delay.

In previous efforts from Roland Garros, Verdasco has failed to advance past the round of 16 but he is poised to make the semis and that makes his long odds valuable.

6th favorite: Nikolay Davydenko (+3500, 35/1; Paddy Power)

Nikolay Davydenko has wrist problems and it is not clear how they will affect him in the near future. Even if Davydenko was 100% you probably would skip him even as long as +3500. You can’t bet all the favorites even when the odds are long and Davydenko has NEVER made a Grand Slam final despite being ranked so highly for such an extended period of time.

Davydenko is a player that you want to stick in your back pocket for the French. You could call him “dangerous” but he’d be more accurately called “dangerous… but”.

Watch him through the first round of Roland Garros and if he whips someone in straight sets with no tiebreaks then you could judge Davydenko to be on top of his game. Even in the second round of the French you could probably still find the Russian as long as +2200 or something in that ball park.

Other favorites:

Andy Murray (4th ranked, 2009 French Open quarterfinalist)
Robin Soderling (2009 French Open finalist, Barca 2010 finalist)
Ernests Gulbis (2010 Rome semifinalist)
David Ferrer (2010 Rome finalist, 2010 clay court title winner, 250 level)
Fernando Gonzalez (2009 French Open semifinalist)
Juan Carlos Ferrero (2010 clay court title winner, 250 level)
Thomaz Bellucci (2010 clay court title winner, 250 level)

Gulbis at +5000 with bet365 and Ferrer at +6600 with bet365 are the only players worth entertaining a bet on in the above list. Murray is cold on tour and clay isn’t where he plays his best so backers of the Scot would be smart to keep their money off of their main man for the time being.

Extreme longshots with ability: Tommy Haas (+100000, 1000/1; Boylesports), Thiemo De Bakker, and Andy Roddick (+25000, 250/1; Stan James).

Haas made the round of 16 last year and took eventual champion Roger Federer to 5 sets in that match so 1000 to 1 is good to go for a 10 cent bet possibly returning a bill.

Thiemo De Bakker has a future on clay and the 21 year old has been ripping clay court challengers to shreds. He has recent wins on clay against Ferrero and Tsonga although no lines could be found on De Bakker (he did retire in his last match).

Roddick showed something else during the hard court swing through America although clay isn’t kind to the big server. Still, he made the R16 last year at the French and 250 to 1 is the right price for this player who has the mental strength to contend in Slams.


author avatar
Ian Horne
Ian goes back to the very early days of CrunchSports, having been tirelessly covering soccer for us for over 10 years.

Ian goes back to the very early days of CrunchSports, having been tirelessly covering soccer for us for over 10 years.

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